Previously: Ana sucked at her job and it made her boss angry. Grey sucked at being a human being and it made Ana happy.
Lorraine: When we left Ana, she was being cornered by Jack, her boss. Apparently, he has strobe lights in his eyes, because they “flash the darkest blue” as he sneers at her.
Sweeney: Normally we advise you to play along at home when the narration gives us dubious descriptions of faces, but this one’s a bit trickier, so this should help:
Lor: You are my most favorite. I LOVE YOU. It’s great that now the rest of this post has to live up to that.
As Jacks leers at Ana, she’s remembering her self-defense classes. This chapter is going to ask us to believe that Ana knows how to defend herself. LOL. OKAY CHAPTER. WHATEVER YOU SAY.
Lor: Jack steps closer to her and divulges that he had to fight with someone named Elizabeth to give Ana the job. She says that maybe they should get the HR department involved if he has complaints about her performance. He doesn’t want HR, because apparently they are like the police and unicorns and leprechauns and men who don’t want to fuck Anastasia Steele in this universe: non-existent.
He goes on that he thought Ana was a hard worker, but she’s become sloppy and he blames it on her boyfriend.
“I decided to check through your e-mail account to see if I could find any clues. And you know what I found, Ana? What was out of place? The only personal e-mails in your account were to your hot-shot boyfriend.” He pauses assessing my reaction. “And I got to thinking… where are the e-mails from him? There are none. Nada. Nothing. So what’s going on, Ana?”
HOLD THE PHONE.
Let’s review: Grey emails Ana at her work email to tell her not to use her work email to email him. Ana answers him back from her work email. Grey answers her back, still to the mother fucking work email. AND THEN GREY GOES IN AND DELETES ALL HIS EMAILS AND LEAVES HERS THERE.
Please explain that to me, because either Grey is the biggest idiot ever and didn’t realize he should wipe ALL the emails -or- he hung her out to dry.
Sweeney: All references to Grey’s contrivancetastic email wiping mechanism give me all the nerd rage, which I guess makes sense since this book was already giving me the other kinds of rage. The later reference is even more annoying, but there’s other still more frustrating things happening then, so I’ll just leave this here:
Also, in addition to being a douche, he’s a liar. He definitely said to her that he had been deleting her emails too (you know, after he emailed her just to have an excuse to be mad at her.) Although, I’m calling this more story-fail than character-fail, because I get the feeling that this was just more continuity than E. L. James could be bothered to keep up with.
Lor: I think a large part of what makes me hate these characters is more story-fail. That this is a plot point makes me hate these characters. See how that works out?
Ana says “some subliminal pheromone that Jack is exuding has [her] on high alert.”
1.) Do any of you have the kind of pheromones that are not “subliminal?” Those really obvious pheromones you whip out of your pocket and perhaps throw in people’s face? Probably not.
Sweeney: Oh I have tons; they’re pebble-sized so that I can throw handfuls of them in the air.
Lor: 2.) It’s obviously the subliminal pheromones that have you on alert, Ana, and not the fact that Jack’s space raping, sneering at, leering at and accusing you. Thank God you have a pheromone detector, or else you’d never know you were in trouble!
Sweeney: SPACE RAPING. Fun fact: I was getting caught up on Girls and realized that Hannah uses that term in an episode that aired the same week as we posted our vlog. I was so excited I immediately emailed Lor. I can’t find a gif of it now, though, and so I am sad. Carry on.
Lor: Jack knows that Grey messed up the New York trip, and wants to know how he managed it. He also knows that Grey is expecting him to make a pass at Ana. Then, he makes a pass at Ana. (S: He has expectations to live up to!) He says he’s entitled to some gratitude for getting her the job, and I think he means he wants a really, really thankful blowjob. Something like that. He says that if Ana keeps him happy, he won’t continue to dig into Grey’s interference.
“My mouth drops open. He’s blackmailing me. For sex! And what can I say? News of Christian’s takeover is embargoed for another three weeks. I can barely believe this. Sex- with me!”
You think she’d be more shocked by the fact that she’s being threatened, harassed and blackmailed. LOL. NOPE. She’s surprised that it’s FOR SEX! And someone wants to have sex… WITH HER! Because no males in this entire book have come on to her or anything! And imagine! S-E-X!
Jack moves even closer to Ana, so that she’s choking on his cologne. There is alcohol on his breath. She wonders when he had time to drink, and it was probably during the 15 minutes she was late in the morning, or the 15 minutes she was late back from lunch, or during the phone call to Mia or Jose or Ethan. Maybe it was when she spent the first hour of her work day emailing Grey. Really, Ana, for anyone who has spent time near or around you, the question is more likely when are they NOT drinking?
Sweeney: Ana is the primary instigator for trips to the imaginary Traumaland Liquor Store. (I wish that could be a real thing.)
Lor: Absolute best and most logical next step for our brand. And because making that happen would be hard, we will probably just put it on a t-shirt!
“You are such a tight-assed, cock-blocking, prick tease, you know, Ana,” he whispers through clenched teeth.”
Confession: I entertained myself for a solid 45 seconds whispering through clenched teeth.
Also, I don’t think EL James knows what a cock-block is. Who is Ana cock-blocking? I don’t think you call someone a cock-block when they are cock-blocking you merely by saying they won’t sleep with you. That’s called “rejection.” Or, if you are Christian Grey, “permission.”
Sweeney: I was about to try to correct this by pointing out that rejection is not permission probably because I am too tired to get the joke (or “true statement about this character”), but I’m going to pretend that it’s because I’m maybe slightly less ruined than I thought and am still connected enough with the world to recognize that distinction. SOMETIMES I WORRY, GUYS. THESE BOOKS TAKE US ALL TO A SAD, SCARY PLACE.
Lor: Okay, fine. I’ll follow up my joke with even more Snark Lady Life Advice: Rejection is NEVER permission.
Back to Ana:
“What? Prick tease… Me?
Jack thinks Ana’s been leading him on and that she wants it and that she’s been “asking for it.” This is an additional friendly reminder that a person is never “asking for it” unless they’ve, you know, asked for it.
Sweeney: And your less friendly reminder that a book that requires this friendly reminder so frequently is adored by millions of women.
Meet you all at Traumaland Liquor Store!
Lor: He strokes Ana’s face and presses his hand against her chest, at “the base of [her] neck, where the top button of [her] black shirt is open” which just seems like an awkward place to put your hand. It’s convenient for Ana, though, as it allows her to take hold of his pinky and pull it backwards. “AARRRGH,” Jack cries like a pirate, and you guys are probably wondering if he’s orgasming, but no. He’s in pain. Ana finishes him off with a knee to the groin. She snarls at him to never touch her again and get his own coffee from now on. I hope no one is expecting me to give her credit for this because I don’t want to.
Ana grabs her things and runs outside, but she hasn’t eaten all day because that happens often with Anorexic Steele. She faints and within a second Christian and the Red Ranger are by her side. Christian scoops Ana into his lap, and they are presumably on the floor during rush hour on a Seattle sidewalk, but conveniently, other people only exist in this story if someone needs to be raped, stalked, threatened or hit on. Ana is all fatigued and shit, but mostly she keeps thinking about how amazing Grey’s arms are, and how she’d rather be nowhere else. Not even off the sidewalk or away from her would-be-rapist.
Sweeney: Sprawled out on a busy sidewalk outside of the building where you were almost raped sounds like a totes great place to be! Ana’s priorities, once again proving to be perfectly in order!
Lor: Christian asks what’s wrong, and she whisper-says Jack’s name, which is all it takes to send the Red Ranger running into the building. Christian asks if Jack touched her and she replies that he only did once. At this, Fiddy stands in rage. Ana’s all NO! because she’s super scared of what Grey will do to Jack. Since there aren’t any floggers or cats (meow-cats OR whip-cats) around, I really wouldn’t worry about it.
“Christian, he has my e-mails,” Ana confesses. “He wanted to know where your e-mails to me were. He was trying to blackmail me.” Fiddy flips the fuck out. Ana’s all, “oh no! I’m in trouble,” as Grey dials a number on his phone.
He one-sided-conversations with a guy named Barney and instructs him to wipe all of Ana’s emails to him and to make sure Jack doesn’t have copies stored away. Guys, think of all the tension we would’ve been spared if Grey had both their emails wiped in the first place. That’s like… entire seconds of… lol. Nevermind. EL James wouldn’t know tension if it broke into her apartment waving around a gun and speaking like Dobby.
Grey calls another person and says he wants Jack out “this minute” or else he’s going to liquidate the company in the morning. The company that nobody can know he’s bought yet? He threatens to sell it. To people who can’t know he owns it. STFU, Fiddy.
Sweeney: We have a gif for that too:
Welp, putting a gif of my own face was sufficiently weird.
Lor: In the awesome way.
“Blackberry,” he hisses at me through clenched teeth.
“Please don’t be mad at me.” I blink up at him.
“I am so mad at you right now,” he snarls and once more sweeps his hand through his hair. “Get in the car.”
“Get in the fucking car, Anastasia, or so help me I’ll put you in there myself,” he threatens, his eyes blazing with fury.
Oh shit. “Don’t do anything stupid, please,” I beg.
“STUPID!” he explodes. “I told you to use your fucking Blackberry. Don’t talk to me about stupid. Get in the motherfucking car, Anastasia- NOW!” he snarls and a frisson of fear runs through me. This is Very Angry Christian.
Right, ladies? We’re all swooning and checking our panties for fires, right? Because if some guy came onto you all rape-like, what you would really want is to be blamed by your significant other. And to be clear, this all makes NO SENSE. He keeps yelling at her about using her Blackberry, which wouldn’t matter when he kept emailing her at her work email address! And it wouldn’t be an issue if he’d just deleted her emails AND his. And besides, he was ANSWERING her. These bitches. These stupid bitches.
Sweeney: I’m glad you were able to be so articulate about all of that because I CAN’T FUCKING EVEN WITH THIS SHIT. (1) This is Ana’s second almost rape and in both instances Christian WantsToBe Mother Fucking Grey BLAMES. HER. This is the Snark Squad once again reminding everyone that no amount of drinkdrankdrunk or flirting are ever justification for rape. (2) THE EMAIL THING. This just makes no sense.
Lor: Ana gets into the car and after some “tense” moments, she sees Jack exit the building with a box of things and get into a cab, presumably fired, after hours, with no HR in sight.
During the drive home, Grey gets another call from Barney who has found something interesting on Jack’s computer. Grey says he’ll call him back later, in private.
The ride back to Escala is spent in mostly silence, because Grey’s still mad at her. (S: Being spared car banter is like the delightful surprise in this chapter.) Oh, but this happens when they arrive:
“Come,” he orders as Taylor clambers into the driver’s seat.”
YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH, ANA. TAYLOR DOES NOT CLAMBER. HE MOVES WITH GRACE AND EASE.
Ana asks Grey why he’s mad.
“God, if something had happened to you, he’d be dead by now.”
I wonder how “Ana made me do it!” would hold up in a court of law.
“As it is, I’m going to ruin his career so he can’t take advantage of young women anymore, miserable excuse for a man that his is.”
Let me tell you something, dear readers. Jack is clearly a bad guy who did a bad thing. We don’t only know this because he continually asked for his coffee in evil ways. He tried to take advantage of Ana and the situation had the potential to get out of hand. Fair. But here’s my problem: this situation was just another way for Grey to flex his muscles, claim ownership of Ana and lord more things over her. Here’s a list of things not to do when a person you know has been the victim of sexual assault:
1.) Yell at them
2.) Leave them alone while their attacker is still nearby
3.) Ignore the cops and exact your own revenge
4.) Go after the attacker yourself
5.) Blame them
Just, you know, off the top of my head.
So, anyways, now they are in the elevator, which if you’ll remember from our recent vlog, I called the solve-everything-vehicle of their relationship. And that it is friends, as they are now making out in the corner of the elevator. By the time they arrive at their floor, all of their problems become non-problems and they start joking about Ana kicking her-would-be-rapist in the balls.
Sweeney: You also noted the ease with which they solve their problems, in general:
Lor: Guys, how much can we put our own faces into these recaps before you all start thinking we’re super weird? I HOPE A LOT.
In the apartment, Grey goes off to call back Barney and in the meanwhile the housekeeper is all, “wow, Ana. You haven’t had any alcohol in this chapter! Surely, your liver is very confused by this lack of destruction,” and she pours her some white wine. Ana thinks, “jeez, could I just have a few boring days?” Best part of that, of course, is that this book is THE MOST BORING.
Grey comes out now, probably because he smelled the alcohol and desperation in the air. Ana asks him if she still has a job and he’s all, “oh, this sham of job? You still want it? Sure.” Ana is super impressed and says, “he is master of my universe.” Alright, Snowqueens Icedragon. We get it.
Lor: We cut to after dinner and Ana decides to bring up the fact that Josecob called. She babbles about how he wants to get a drink, and Grey wants to know what she’s asking. She isn’t asking anything, only informing him of her plans to get a drink with her friend. Cue Grey reminding Ana that Josecob made a pass at her. She exclaims that that was WEEKS ago.
“I don’t like it.”
So what? Jeez, he’s irritating sometimes. I take a breath. “He’s my friend, Christian. I haven’t seen him since his show. And that was too brief. I know you don’t have any friends, apart from that god-awful woman, but I don’t moan about you seeing her,” I snap. Christian blinks, shocked.”
That’s so cute that she thinks she doesn’t complain about Mrs. Rape.
Sweeney: Right!? I am fascinated by how these two can spend every waking moment thinking about each other while not actually knowing shit about what’s happening when they’re together.
Lor: EL James banked on the fact that most people wouldn’t realize what was happening when these two were together. It was a good gamble.
Anyways, Ana says it isn’t her place to say who he can be friends with and vice versa, so Grey says Josecob can stay at Escala with them. Ana smirks up at Grey and then moves quickly away, in case he tries to hit her. Grey heads off to work again and Ana must entertain herself.
It should come as no surprise that Ana isn’t actually very good at entertaining herself. She’s bored so she wanders the apartment and ends up at the Red Room of Domestic Violence, and what do you know, it’s unlocked.
“Feeling like a child playing hooky and straying into the forbidden forest, I walk in.”
1.) Weird. Why does she relate playing hooky with forbidden forests, you guys?
2.) Weird. You are walking into the room your boyfriends keeps stocked with sex toys. YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL LIKE A CHILD DOING ANYTHING.
Sweeney: Really need to get a new set of pedo-bear-alert gifs if we’re going to get through another book and a half.
Lor: I always feel strange searching for those, though. That goes beyond the Questionable Google Search of the Day into police knocking on your door territory.
Ana describes the room as “womb-like,” just so we can drive home this child-pedo-weird vibe. “My boyfriend’s sex room reminds me of a womb!” OKAY, ANA. OKAY.
She inside a chest and is all nervous as she opens the first drawer. She picks up a bullet-shaped something and wonders what you do with it. This moment would only be better if she tried to stick it up her nose or in her ear.
Of course, Fiddy is standing at the door watching her. He asks what she’s doing and probably fearing for her life, she answers that she was bored and curious. He enters the womb and closes the door. He asks what she’s curious about and she’s all, “are you mad at me?” He wonders why she would think that and her legit answer is, “You are always mad at me.” BEST RELATIONSHIP EVER. The second part of her answer is that she feels like she’s trespassing. Grey says she IS trespassing but that he isn’t mad and when he puts a ring on it, everything will be hers anyways.
Sweeney: LOL. So enticing! All these memories of the domestic violence portion of our relationship can be yours!
Lor: He left the room unlocked by accident because he was in there trying to decide what to do with it all. He also says he isn’t always mad at her, and uses “this morning” as an example of that. If you’ll recall, they were fucking this morning. This all goes back to my theory that Grey only comes in two modes: horny and agitated. Thanks for proving that, psycho.
Speaking of horny! Ana asks Grey about the silver bullet, and turns out it is a butt plug, and not in fact a booger picker or an ear plug. Grey adds, “bought for you.” Ana’s all:
Because she can’t believe that Grey would buy new butt plugs for her? I’m not sure. She asks if he buys new toys for each submissive. “Some things. Yes.” replies Grey and he leaves us to wonder what exactly qualifies as “some things.” Butt plugs, definitely yes. That first drawer turns out to be the “butt drawer.” Next one down has vibrators. The third one down contains a variety of clamps. Fourth drawer down has lots of leather and straps.
Ana finds a ball gag and ask Grey if he’s ever worn one (yes) and if it was to mask his (STATUTORY RAPE!!!) screams. Grey says that isn’t the point of a ball gag. It’s all about control, because controlling her eating, sleeping, working, friends, and social calendar weren’t enough to get him off. He needs a ball gag.
Sweeney: Comprehensive Control. Also, I can’t picture this without picturing the faux-ball-gag gone terribly wrong: Jawbreaker. Let’s stop reading and go watch Jawbreaker instead, all right? Oh, we’re almost done? Fine, fine.
Lor: Have another drink.
As Grey speaks wistfully about the type of power and control that come with reading body reactions and not listening to words, Ana notes that he seems to miss it. It’s all he knows, Grey reminds her.
They get into an “I love you,” “no, I love you!” match with a bonus, “you can hurt me,” “no, you can hurt me MORE” round, in case we didn’t understand the stifling co-dependency issues these two suffer.
Ana points out a spreader bar and asks for a demonstration. Her inner goddess shows up to pole vault from inside of a bunker. TRUE THING THAT IS WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.
Sweeney: I really wish I had the patience/energy to draw this out, but I don’t even know where to start.
Lor: Grey will do it but not in the Red Womb of Domestic Violence. He explains that he’s like a recovering alcoholic. The last time they were in there, Ana left him. He likes to say it that way to place the blame on Ana for leaving, and not on him for beating the shit out of her. So, he’s like an alcoholic, and if he’s in the Red Room for too long, he may overdose and kill her. Something like that.
Sweeney: So what you’re really saying is that he’s robbing us of “AND THEN SHE DIES.”
Lor: As so many people do, Sweeney. As so many do.
Ana is so impressed by this, as if not wishing physical harm on someone you are in a relationship with is such an amazing feat, that she jumps on him and they start kissing. Grey’s all, “you want me to fuck you on the stairs?” and Ana’s all, “sure!” but he’s all, “no.” He’s done this to her at least 4-5 times where he’s all, “you want me to take you right here, right now?” and Ana’s all, “absolutely!” and then he’s like “I’m not sure why I asked because doing what you want to do is not what I want to do.” Cool, Fiddy. Cool.
Ana announces, once they are in his bedroom, that she doesn’t think he’ll hurt her. That’s exactly the type of thing one would say if you were really nervous about someone hurting you. They have a little Crayola Body Mapping Zone “fun” while Ana undresses and kisses his chest. Mostly, this is used to inform us that he’s getting more used to Ana touching him, and she’s fixing him. SHE’S FIXING HIM, DAMMIT.
Sweeney: Because that’s what happens when you stand by your domestic violence perpetrating man, ladies!
Lor: She gives him a “fixing him” blowjob.
“He gazes down at me, watching my every move, eyes so dark and filled with carnal bliss. Oh my. I sheath my teeth and suck harder. He closes his eyes and surrenders to this blissful carnal pleasure is so arousing. I know what I do to him, and it’s hedonistic, liberating and sexy as hell. The feeling is heady, I’m not just powerful- I’m omniscient.”
1.) You aren’t the first bitch to give a blow job. STFU.
2.) YOU SHEATH YOUR TEETH? HOW?
3.) I did not typo. “…is so arousing.” is how it appears in my copy.
4.) James forgets things from sentence to sentence. You just said “carnal bliss” FYI.
5.) Omniscient is all knowing. I’m not entirely sure this is the word James wanted to use here. I’m not just powerful, I’m all knowing, on account of blow job? I think maybe she was shooting for omnipotent. Either way:
6.) ANA STEELE. GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF.
Sweeney: I love you for this entire list.
Lor: After the bj, Grey tosses Ana onto the bed, undresses her, and puts her ankles into the spreader bar.
“Oh, we’re going to have some fun with this, Ana.” Reaching down he grasps the bar and twists it so I flip on to my front. It take me by surprise.”
Help me understand if that is physically possible, because I don’t think anyone could FLIP your whole body over while you are laying down, by way of a bar between your ankles, especially in a way that catches you by surprise.
Sweeney: Another moment that we can’t even begin to diagram. I should add, now, that Lor spent days figuring out how to do this post because she wanted to draw you pictures, but she just couldn’t figure out how. Neither can I.
Lor: True. It was a good idea in theory, but this shit is even undrawable.
Grey goes down on Ana and it’s OMG the best, as it always is, and and as she’s crying out, Grey says, “say my name!”
Can we just end this already ridiculously long chapter right here and just have a Destiny’s Child sing-a-long?
Sweeney: YES. ABSOLUTELY.
Lor: Uuuugh. We’re almost done.
She calls his name a few times and he punctuates it all with a “you are mine.” She comes and somehow doesn’t even notice when Grey flips her back over to her front and ties her wrists to the spreader bar as well. Grey slams into her and Ana is all, “AARGH!” because he found pirate’s booty deep in her vajay.
Lor: EL James describes their two sentence sex the way she always does, (“he’s moving… really moving…” OH REALLY? IS HE?) and they come together.
Ana gets sleepy, Grey says like three more times that she is his and can never leave. Ana drifts off to sleep.
“My last thoughts are of a small boy with gray eyes and dirty, messy, copper-colored hair smiling shyly at me.”
Let me interpret: As I ride down out the wave of my orgasm, I think of my boyfriend as a child.
Thanks, painfully long chapter.
Have some ridiculous murmur/whisper counts:
Murmur Count – 21
Whisper Count – 22
Favorite comment last post: Though I’m thinking we finally have the explanation for that here. These woman don’t speak to him because they are probably busy thinking ‘WTF was that? Did my panties just explode? I am going to need serious medical attention’. Right? – Alex
Next time of Fifty Shades Darker: Ana gets good news at that job where she never works. Learn awesome professional skillz from Ana in chapter 17.